Despite providing fake data to QS, PU’s ranking dropped and has failed to improve its international ranking while all other Pakistani universities have considerably improved their ranking from 2018-2022.

According to the website of QS World Universities Rankings, Punjab University was ranked in the bracket of the world’s top 801-1000 universities in 2018 and this position remained the same for its 2023 rankings too. On the other hand, the leading universities of Pakistan not only broke their bracket ranking rather made their place in the top 400 universities of the world.

For instance, the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was ranked among the world’s top 431-440 universities in 2018 and it continued its journey to achieve the world’s top 334th university position for the 2023 QS ranking. Similarly, Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad was ranked among the world’s top 651-700 universities in 2018 while for the 2023 QS ranking, it has been ranked the top 363rd university in the world.

According to the website of the QS World Universities Rankings, the administration of Punjab University has also been found faking the data to improve its international ranking, however, but to no avail. For instance, as per the QS ranking website, PU has 1,340 faculty members and its faculty-student ratio is 1=20. This means Punjab University has around 27,000 students.

However, according to Punjab University’s fact book, available on its official website, it had 45,060 students in 2019, which has now increased to around 48 thousand in 2021 admissions. Moreover, PU claims that it has been ranked world’s top 101-150 institutions in Petroleum Engineering while surprisingly, PU does not offer any BS or master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering, which clearly says that PU had manipulated data with the rating agency.

A senior dean of the university while talking to this scribe requesting anonymity said that despite abundance of resources and potential, PU failed to improve its international ranking due to wrong policies of former vice chancellor Prof. Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar and appointments out of merit. administrative and academic position. He said that the vice chancellor focused on academic restructuring just to accommodate his nears and dears on top administrative positions and his decision also proved to be a big failure and the QS ranking was clear proof of it. He said that in various meetings, various deans suggested various initiatives to the VC to promote research culture for improvement in international ranking, however these went unnoticed.

The ranking of major universities around the world comes out every year, on the basis of which their progress and National/ International repute is determined. Different factors are taken into account in this classification. However, no institution or website offers a comprehensive overview of a university’s status because everyone chooses limited features to draw their own conclusions.

Various claims are being made regarding the performance of Punjab University in the last four years. Former Vice-Chancellor Dr. Niaz Ahmed Akhtar and current Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dr. Saleem Mazhar has claimed that the last four years have seen a 22% improvement in the ranking of Punjab University. Recently, the latest ranking of the Times Higher Education was made public in which Punjab University was placed at the 14th position at the national level and in the bracket 1000 to 1200 at the international level. Now that the QS rankings have come to the fore, Punjab University is once again in the bracket of 801 to 1000, as it has been in the last four years and clearly it has been deprived of any progress yet again. The PU administration poses another interesting claim.

According to them, the university is now included in the top 57% of the world’s universities, whereas four years ago it was included among the top 78% of the universities. The fact is that every year some new universities join this ranking race and so the list goes on. QS Ranking Agency published a list of 958 universities in 2018. In 2021 this number reached 1021. In 2022, the same agency included 1300 universities in the rankings. Thus, the Punjab University itself could not progress even a single step.

Although we do not believe in the mad race of rankings, those who are not only involved in the race but are also striving for more interests based on it, are requested to rethink their claims which do not bring a good name to our institution.

When contacted, spokesperson PU Khurram Shahzad said, “Punjab University has improved its International QS Ranking by 22 percent. As per guidelines of QS, data of only morning students is provided for determining faculty-student ratio. PU also offers specialization in Petroleum and Gas Engineering.”

Related: QS Ranking: NUST retains 1st position in Pak, 74th in Asia
Author

Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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